Pirate Poachers of the Bay: Oversized burglar busted for selling undersized crabs

Harvey McKenzie Jr busted for selling undersized crabs


Crab Poacher / Burglar Busted at Flim-Flam Flea Market

CHARLOTTE HALL, MD. — The Farmer’s Market in St. Mary’s County often has federal agents perusing the long tables set up by those at the large outdoor flea market, looking to drive a stake in the hearts of those who sell contraband and pirated movies as well as all manner of knock-off and fake merchandise. This past week, the Maryland Natural Resources Police decided to pay a visit to a stand where a man was peddling crabs.

What they found was that the man, a convicted burglar, was selling undersized and female crabs to buyers.

Many of those charged as outlaw watermen merely pursue poaching as a sideline to other business pursuits such as drug dealing and burglary.

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The crooked poachers cause headaches and public relations black eyes for honest watermen as well as skim profits from a fragile industry.

Police report that a St. Mary’s County man was charged Thursday Sept. 28, 2015 with multiple violations of blue crab regulations by the Maryland Natural Resources Police

Harvey Richard McKenzie Jr., 42, of 27302 Golden Thompson Road in Avenue, was observed by an officer selling crabs at the Charlotte Hall Farmers’ Market. He told the officer he caught the crabs on a trotline and was hoping to make some extra money.

The officer gave McKenzie citations for failing to have a recreational crabbing license and for selling crabs that were caught for recreational purposes. When the officer checked the crabs she found female crabs, which recreational crabbers are prohibited from harvesting, and 76 undersized male crabs.

The crabs were confiscated and returned to the waters of the state.

McKenzie is awaiting a date to appear in St. Mary’s District Court. If found guilty of all charges, he faces a maximum fine of $4,000.

McKenzie was charged with failing to comply with a Judge’s Peace Order and on July 21, 2015, the charge was put on the stet docket.

Multiple charges of burglary in Charles County resulted in McKenzie pleading guilty in Charles County Circuit Court on March 12, 2003, and in a plea deal he was simply sentenced to prison for 10 years with nine years, eleven months and 26 days suspended. All other charges were dropped by the Charles County States Attorney.

Charged with theft by St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Detective David Alexander; McKenzie struck a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz on Aug. 9, 2001 and was fined $500 with all of the fine suspended and sentenced to jail for 10 days with all of the jail time suspended. That should have taught him about tough law and order.

Natural Resources Police Officer Bailey charged McKenzie with operating a boat under the influence of drugs on May 29, 1999 and in Calvert County District Court on July 12, 1999, he cooked a deal for his charges to be placed on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.

In Prince Georges County District Court on Feb. 16, 1996, four counts of theft, property destruction  and burglary against Mckenzie were put on the Stet Docket by the Prince Georges States Attorney with no fine and no time.

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